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Where Does Bishop Huonder Really Stand?

 

[This interview took place in September 2023. Footnotes are from the original author, not ours. We are grateful to our correspondent in central Europe who took the time and trouble to interview Bishop Vitus Huonder by telephone, to put the following questions to him, and for sending us the result. - The Editor, March 2024]

Greetings, Most Reverend Bishop Huonder. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking time for me on your departure day to Schönenberg! I am a mother of children at the St. Theresiengymnasium in Schönenberg! May I ask you a few questions, if it's okay with you, because unfortunately I can't go to Schönenberg for this big, beautiful celebration. I have heard and read that you have been invited, and we have also received an invitation! You're staying in Schönenberg until Sunday, aren't you?


Yes!


I know you from The Great Wound videos on the Certamen youtube channel. It's very well known and has spread very widely! .... and I actually wanted to ask you personally, but unfortunately I'm not in Schönenberg, so I got the courage for this phone call!

In the video you quote from Archbishop Lefebvre, from Vatican II and from the new code of canon law! Do you officially reject the new canon law, or do you emphasize it?


Yes, but it must be applied correctly!


So you don't categorically reject it, or what?


No, not that, no you can't!

There are many paragraphs in canon law after Vatican II that are not Catholic! A lot has been changed!


Yes, of course you would have to look specifically at which paragraphs these are, where you have to be a bit skeptical, where not! In general, we say that canon law is all right, but the application is the law, that's the question?

OK, I understand. And Vatican II? Some see it as the French Revolution in the Catholic Church! Is that also to be categorically rejected and the new Mass condemned or not?


Well, you can't reject it. But it has problems.


Problems, oh really? But you can't reject it? So you can go to the New Mass, especially if you don't have a Traditional Mass nearby? 


YES! You can, yes, yes!

OK, I understand. I'm from Croatia and that's the problem, that there is no Traditional Mass nearby, where my friends live, for instance. So you're saying that it's better to go to the New Mass than not at all? 


Yes, yes. If it is celebrated properly, then it is the same! (1)

 

You have written two books! I found one called "Israel, Son of God"!
 

Yes, that's my dissertation.


That was your doctoral thesis, wasn't it?
 

Yes.


Why is it called Israel Son of God? Isn't Jesus the Son of God?


Because there is a passage in the Old Testament where it says Israel is my son!


But in the New Testament Jesus is the Son of God. So you made the connection there, or what was that?


Yes, yes, yes. (2)
 

Now I have a question, something unpleasant, it's really difficult for me, because there are always different opinions, news and so on from all sides. So I thought I'd just take courage and ask you directly, because unfortunately it's really a mess everyone in the Society of St Pius X says something different and nobody knows anything about it!


It's about when new priests come, you are now the first bishop, but when new priests come, they are conditionally re-ordained. Everyone is asking: is Bishop Huonder validly consecrated or not and nobody knows! And the priests don't know either! You'd think something is being kept secret! So what do you say, how should one deal with it or are we even allowed to ask, are we even allowed to know whether or not you have been conditionally re-consecrated?

 

No, I am not re-consecrated because my consecration was valid!


So the modern ordinations, right?


The new ordinations are also valid!


The modern ones are also valid, OK. But Pope Saint Pius X demanded that you sign the anti-modernist oath?!


Yes, yes, yes.

And is that also signed for the new ordinations?

Er, you also have to sign something, it's slightly modified. But there is also a confession and you have to sign that too.

But the original anti-modernist oath of St. Pope Pius X is not signed?

 

Not that one, no! Nor is it a condition for ordination. (3)


So, it was abolished, so to speak?

 

Yes, yes.  It was never actually a condition, it was simply required, but the ordination is valid regardless!


Here's the next thing I wanted to ask. You wrote a book called: "Israel, Son of God"- What is your attitude towards the Israeli people?

 

It is of course the chosen people and I simply have the attitude that you find in Paul. Paul writes about the people in the letter to the Romans, that is my attitude, the attitude of St. Paul. You can read there. I think the 11th chapter, you have to read what he writes about the Jews.

Thank you, I'll do that. Did this inspire you to introduce the Dies Judaicus on March 20, 2011, or how is it ?

 

Yes, Dies Judaicus is actually officially introduced by the Church to pray for the Jews!


Ah OK. So the day is supposed to be a reminder of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith? That was the first time, did you introduce it?

 

No, it came from Rome. 

Oh, it came from Rome? They wanted it that way and then they introduced it, it was in Switzerland, wasn't it?

 

Well, we also adopted it in the Bishops' Conference and then on the 2nd Sunday and on the 2nd Sunday of Lent we pray especially for the Jews!

 

 

Aha OK. What are you praying for, that they convert?

Yes, yes, of course that too, for them to convert, yes! (4)

The last question is: how do you feel about communion in the hand?


I reject it!


So you reject it! Even to non-Catholics? At some point, I read somewhere, I can't remember now, there was once an ecumenical service and you were also invited and were asked if they could all take communion, and then you simply said, "Yes, those who believe in Jesus Christ in the bread can take communion!" Or something like that.


Of course that's not what I meant. Only Catholics take communion.

 


In the past, you always distributed communion by hand?

 

Of course yes, because there was no other way in the parishes!


Do you regret that?

 

Yes! (5)

Good. I think I have everything. I wanted to ask you all this in person, but as I said, unfortunately I couldn't come to the Feast of St Therese, so I thought I would just give you a call! It took a lot of effort, but thank you very much for taking the time for me, God bless you and I wish you a safe journey and all the best and God's blessing.

Thank you very much!

 

Thank you! See you again!

 

FOOTNOTES:

1. This is all completely different to what I learned in the retreats of the SSPX and in all the many sermons and lectures of our dear Archbishop Lefebvre, which I usually listened to while doing the ironing, especially when I was insecure in my faith!

2. Note: See in the book Israel Son of God, from page 191 chapter 1.2 "Rabbi Selomo ben Jicbag (Rasi)", 1040-105" ) "Rashi" what this rabbi says!

3. My thoughts: our dear, and for me also holy Archbishop Lefebvre said otherwise, he fought for the true Catholic ordination of priests, he was even excommunicated because he ordained bishops, he did everything as GOD WANTED! Was everything he did wrong after all? Or what is happening in the SSPX now? Is this a betrayal of our Archbishop Lefebvre? See for instance:

  • Archbishop Lefebvre's sermon at the Econe consecrations, 30th June, 1988 - the Archbishop says that modern ordinations and consecrations are dubious because there is doubt about the intention of those doing them.

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"I agree with your desire to conditionally reordain these priests, and I have done this reordination many times. All sacraments from the modernists bishops or priests are doubtful now.  The changes are increasing and their intentions are no longer Catholic."

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"It is clear that we cannot accept this falsified new rite of ordination, which casts doubt on the validity of numerous ordinations performed according to the new rite.  This new rite of ordination is therefore not Catholic.  And so, of course, we will continue to faithfully pass on the true and valid priesthood through the traditional ordination rite."

 

4. Source: Roman Catholic Church in the Canton of Bern / see document dated 17.3.2011 - "Der Dies Judaicus kommt spät, aber er kommt" ("The Dies Judaicus is coming late, but it is coming"):

 

" 'With this day, the Catholic Church wishes to emphasize dialogue with the Jews ... the day should remind us of the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and make us aware of the special bond between Christians and the Jewish people, and the Jewish roots of Christianity...' - said Bishop Huonder. In his bishop's address, he emphasized the fact that the Christian faith is built on a Jewish foundation and that the Apostle Paul clearly pointed this out. Huonder emphasized the "enduring, ever-present responsibility of the Church towards the Jewish people" - especially after the terrible attacks on this people during the Second World War. As anti-Semitism is on the rise again today, the bishop reminds us of the Catholic Church's duty to take a firm stand against all outbursts of hatred, persecution and manifestations of anti-Semitism and to call for peace, reconciliation, respect and esteem for every human being."

5. Source: https://www.kath.ch/newsd/auch-vitus-huonder-gab-reformierten-die-kommunion/ March 2021: "B. Huonder gab auch Reformierten die hl. Kommunion" ("Bishop Huonder has also given Holy Communion to Protestants") - 

 

"Vitus Huonder was Bishop of Chur in 2012 - and came to Samstagern, Zurich on February 12 for the consecration of St. Mary's Church. Pastor Mario Pinggera (51) remembers:

 

'Before the consecration began, Bishop Vitus Huonder asked me whether Protestants would also be present and whether they would come to communion. I told him that we have a very good ecumenical relationship. And I hope that this will still be the case after the consecration of the church!'


Before the start of communion, the bishop is reported to have said:

 

  'Anyone who believes that Christ is truly present in this bread should come forward.'

 

Mario Pinggera says:

 

  'I praised him for this later in the sacristy: that's a good thing.'

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